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Celluloid Underground (12A)* ScreenTalk with Ehsan Khoshbakht in conversation with Rebecca Harrison

A black and white photograph of a group of men queuing up outside of an old movie theatre.

A captivating exploration of film culture's resilience in the face of oppression, masterfully crafted by Ehsan Khoshbakht, followed by a ScreenTalk with Ehsan Khoshbakht and Rebecca Harrison.

Through the lens of two passionate cinephiles, Khoshbakht and his late friend Ahmad Jurghanian, the film honours cinema as a potent form of resistance.

Set against a backdrop of state violence, the documentary intertwines the journeys of Khoshbakht and Ahmad, united in their mission to preserve 35mm film prints in Iran. Their dedication is palpable as they navigate the risks of imprisonment and torture to safeguard banned films hidden beneath Tehran's streets.

As the narrative unfolds, Khoshbakht's lyrical storytelling and evocative imagery immerse viewers in the sensory richness of cinema. Yet, amidst the romance lies a sobering acknowledgment of cinema's complex history, touching upon themes of exploitation and colonialism.

Celluloid Underground serves as a powerful reminder of cinema's enduring ability to illuminate and connect us all.

Tagged with: Cinema ScreenTalks

UK / Iran 2023 Dir Ehsan Khoshbakht 80 min

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
‘The film reassures us that the idea of cinema and its power to make us feel will remain.‘
Rebecca Harrison, Sight & Sound


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